We Need to Fix This
We the People need to learn how to discern the difference between honest information mistakes and intentional deceptions. If we don’t, our centuries-old democratic republic could self-destruct.
Recently, former President Obama challenged the people of our WebTech industry to help us fix these cyberspace-age pitfalls and perils, which threaten to disrupt our peace and destroy our public safety.
I highly recommend this message to any American who wants to see our children and grandchildren inherit the liberties that we have had growing up in the the world’s first world-class democratic republic.
Obama says there are some bugs in the software and we need to fix them. If we cannot repair them, the whole Web and We the People who use it could ignite in hate speech and erupt in violence.
Speaking at Stanford University, Citizen Obama presented evidence that If we do not moderate, online, the instigators of malicious deception and intentional violence, they will trample over our human rights and destroy our peace and safety. Social media lies will incinerate our nation with flames of insurrection.
That’s my take on what he said.
Obama pointed out, for instance, that there is a real difference between honest mistakes and intentional deceptions.
We are not talking about limiting free speech. We are talking about moderating public debate and in so doing, maybe even preventing another civil war.
We as social media users ought to learn how to discern the difference between two types of misinformation.
Misinformation is not the same thing as Disinformation.
What’s the difference?
Motive. Intent. Misinformation can originate from legitimate opinions, facts, honest mistakes. Disinformation, on the other hand, comes from malicious, intentional deception.
If we don’t fix this, if we do not learn from our mistakes, there will be hell to pay. That’s my take on we he said.
Consider this. We have a Constitution; it was written by some wise leaders, 246 years ago. But even as smart as Jefferson and Franklin and Hamilton and those guys were, they screwed-up a few things that later became death-dealing fatal issues.
Slavery. The founders sidestepped around it with ridiculous notions, Such as, some people were deemed only 3/5 as important as others.
But we fixed that problem with the 13th amendment.
Well, not totally, you know, but we got started in on fixing it.
Later, our modern leaders, bearers of the Constitutional legacy, constructed and passed the 14th amendment, which took us another step in the direction of Justice and Equality for all men and women.
Obviously, we’re still working on it. It takes hard work and dedication to do anything that is truly important.
So, President Obama says that we can, similarly, fix the flaws that were built into our internet and social media.
But it has to start with the people of the industry who built it, because they know how the nuts, bolts and screws that hold it all together work. They wrote the software; they built the hardware.
And when the book of history is written . . . well, my friends, that’s up to us, We the People.
Now We the People need to build some Peace and Safety into it, for the good of us all, for the Common good.
The Silcon techies can invent some new tools — both software and hardware — that can help us get through this problem.
Maybe we need a Bill of Rights for social media. I don’t know. But we need something before the whole damn bailywick flys apart.
Obama mentioned Section 230 of the US Code. It has already served as a starting point. It states that generally companies cannot be held responsible for most of the content that people post on their platforms, but our collective problem is a little more complicated than that simple statement. See what Wikipedia has to say about it.
We need to get started on this before its too late.
Thanks for reading.